It was great while it lasted, but we still live in a man’s world.
#MeToo brought light to the sexual abuse that women and marginalised people in particular face on a daily basis. It also highlighted the way in which victims are treated as liars in order to protect the (mostly) men that have abused them. It was an emotional time for many, reliving their past trauma, but it felt like things were changing.
Perhaps women won’t have to deal with being wolf-whistled at by ten men because they’re wearing a short skirt. Perhaps women won’t have to just accept being groped by a stranger in a club because his mates will call you a liar if you said anything. Perhaps women won’t get raped and then told “it’s your own fault” when they’ve had some alcohol. Perhaps all of this was a wild dream, and in fact we’re still years, decades, maybe centuries away from this ever being a reality – if in fact it will ever become a reality.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them have refused to replace Johnny Depp as villain, Grindelwald even though his ex-wife Amber Heard accused him of domestic abuse (both physically and mentally). He’s also now been the centre of a feature article and interview about the abuse allegations. He’s literally profiting from allegations of abuse. There were pictures of her injuries to her face, and a video was released of him acting aggressively towards her during an argument. However, because heard settled out of court, men are using that as an excuse to defend Depp.
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them have refused to replace Johnny Depp as villain, Grindelwald even though his ex-wife Amber Heard accused him of domestic abuse”
It’s true that Depp hasn’t been charged for the allegations. But, why does the out-of-court settlement prove she’s a liar, while the fairly damning photo and video evidence of his abuse not prove he’s an abuser?
There are many reasons why victims may settle out of court. For starters, the thought of having to relive their trauma in front of people calling them a liar can be extremely triggering. There have also been cases of victims being threatened or blackmailed into settling. The cost of going through a court case can also be an issue to victims, who simply don’t have as much money as the alleged abuser.
Until we’re in that situation, we have no right to judge a victim for settling out of court. Nor do we have the right to call someone a liar because of that.
Women are still getting preyed upon left, right and centre when they step out of the house. Alleged abusers are still being believed over survivors, even in situations where there’s potential evidence of abuse. Women are still being treated like lower-class citizens.
But it’s not just in leisurely situations that women are having to deal with this, it’s in professional situations too. Women often find themselves being talked down to at work and during their studies. They regularly have to work twice as hard as men just to be taken seriously or to be listened to.
It’s always been a cis man’s world, but we were fooled into thinking perhaps women may be treated as equals. We were given hope, but it turns out that hope was pointless. Nothing has changed since #MeToo, and it’s likely nothing will change (or at least any time soon). The world needs a serious reform in the way women are looked at and treated, but unfortunately that dream is looking more and more unlikely by the day.